Donors to Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) are reportedly looking to the courts to help them get their money back.
The Religion News Service (RNS) reports that donors, among them an NFL player, are suing the apologetics ministry in the wake of revelations of abuse by late founder Ravi Zacharias.
The suit has been filed at the federal court for the North District of Georgia which claims that donors were misled about the way in which their money would be spent.
“Defendants bilked tens — if not hundreds — of millions of dollars from well-meaning donors who believed RZIM and Zacharias to be faith-filled Christian leaders,” the plaintiffs allege.
“In fact, Zacharias was a prolific sexual predator who used his ministry and RZIM funds to perpetrate sexual and spiritual abuse against women.”
A damning independent report was released last year, just months after the apologist’s passing from cancer.
It contained shocking accounts of sexual misconduct against massage therapists at spas he formerly co-owned in Georgia, and included one allegation of rape.
The report sent shockwaves through the Christian community and has led to seismic shifts within the global RZIM network.
In February, it announced that it had suspended receiving donations in light of the report, and in the last few months the Canada branch has closed its doors for good and the UK division has broken away.
RZIM CEO and Zacharias’ daughter, Sarah Davis, said “serious errors” were made at the organization.
And last month, RZIM US director Vince Vitale and his wife Jo announced their resignation.
RNS said that plaintiffs named in the class-action lawsuit include Las Vegas Raiders tight end Derek Carrier and his wife Dora, who donated $30,000 to RZIM in January last year.
Their attorney, Brad R. Sohn, told RNS: “They could have picked up the phone and asked to have their money back. But it’s not just about them.”