On Wednesday, two top officials announced that they will resign from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) following the sex abuse scandal that rocked the ministry earlier this year with its late founder and apologist Ravi Zacharias.
Vince and Joanna Vitale, who respectively serve as the director and dean of the Zacharias Institute, posted a joint statement to Facebook on Wednesday that they will be resigning from RZIM next week.
The couple shared that after the interim report of the investigation into RZIM was released last December, they had been convicted in a personal way. They noted that God was leading them to a deeper repentance and “to spend far more of our prayers, thoughts, and words on our own mistakes and failures than on those of anyone else.”
Another conviction, which they believe to be their “most pressing,” was RZIM’s response to “the grave abuse” that occurred, especially for the victims involved in the scandal and how it impacts “the witness and mission of the wider church” in ensuring “that the vulnerable are seen and heard and valued and safe.”
“More than anything, we longed for a response that would communicate the truth about victims — that they matter greatly, as does their suffering — and the truth about Jesus, because his concern for victims is so great that he was willing to face isolation and injustice in order to be present with victims and secure justice for them,” the Vitales continued.
They concluded the statement by saying that they will resign from RZIM as they “enter into a substantial season of reordering” in giving themselves the “time and space” to allow themselves “to be deeply formed by all that we have been humbled by and wrecked over in the last year.”
“We will always deeply grieve the suffering and the ways in which we contributed to it, but it is our prayer that the grief we carry from this will serve as a lasting reminder of our duty to care for the many whose wounds are far deeper than our own,” the Vitales wrote. “Christ’s ability to redeem gives hope that healing is worth fighting for and bears witness to the full and final restoration that ultimately awaits.”
In a YouTube video in February, the Vitales confessed and apologized for perpetuating the “lies” of Ravi Zacharias while his victims suffered.
According to an independent investigation, Zacharias had engaged with multiple women, including unwanted touching with massage therapists, sexting, spiritual abuse, and even rape.
In March, Zacharias’ daughter and RZIM CEO, Sarah Davis announced that the ministry will change its name and remove all content related to Zacharias, who died of cancer last year.
Zacharias’ wife, Margie Zacharias, however, has denied that the scandal surrounding her late husband ever took place.
Photo Courtesy: ©Ravi Zacharias Facebook Page
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.