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19 May 2020 18:35

Michael Flynn United States Department of Justice Donald Trump

(CNN) Ravi Zacharias, who spent his life defending Christianity through books and lectures, has died. Zacharias had been battling sarcoma and died at his home in Atlanta on Tuesday, Zacharias International Ministries said. He was a leading figure among Christian Apologists--a branch of Christian theology that defends Christian doctrines against objections. Zacharias founded Zacharias International Ministries in 1984, and "launched a global team of nearly 100 Christian scholars and authors who continue to speak, resource, train and address the questions of millions around the world," a news release said. "(Ravi) saw the objections and questions of others not as something to be rebuffed, but as a cry of the heart that had to be answered," said Michael Ramsden, president of Zacharias International Ministries.

ATLANTA, May 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/--Apologist Ravi Zacharias died this morning at his home in Atlanta, following a brief battle with sarcoma. Official media information is available at RZIM.org/page/Newsroom, including background information and downloadable multimedia files. Ravi Zacharias spent the past 48 years commending the Christian faith and addressing life's greatest existential questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny with eloquence and grace. Through his founding and leadership of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), Zacharias launched a global team of nearly 100 Christian scholars and authors who continue to speak, resource, train and address the questions of millions around the world. "[Ravi] saw the objections and questions of others not as something to be rebuffed, but as a cry of the heart that had to be answered," said Michael Ramsden, president of RZIM.

The love and kindness he had come to know in and through Jesus Christ was the same love he wanted to share with all he met." Zacharias is survived by his wife of 48 years, Margie; daughters, Sarah and Naomi; son, Nathan; and five grandchildren. "It was his Savior, Jesus Christ, that my dad always wanted most to talk about," said Sarah Davis, CEO of RZIM. "Even in his final days, until he lacked the energy and breath to speak, he turned every conversation to Jesus and what the Lord had done. He perpetually marveled that God took a 17-year-old skeptic, defeated in hopelessness and unbelief, and called him into a life of glorious hope and belief in the truth of Scripture—a message he would carry across the globe for 48 years." The Zacharias family has asked that in lieu of flowers gifts be made to the ongoing work of RZIM. OFFICIAL OBITUARY by Matthew Fearon, RZIM UK Content Manager and former journalist with The Sunday Times of London When Ravi Zacharias was a cricket-loving boy on the streets of India, his mother called him in to meet the local sari-seller-turned-palm reader.

"Looking at your future, Ravi Baba, you will not travel far or very much in your life," he declared. By the time a 37-year-old Zacharias preached, at the invitation of Billy Graham, to the inaugural International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam in 1983, he was on his way to becoming one of the foremost defenders of Christianity's intellectual credibility. A year later, he founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), with the mission of "helping the thinker believe and the believer think'… To read the entire obituary, visit the online newsroom. About RZIM Founded in 1984 by Ravi Zacharias, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) brings the gospel of Jesus Christ to millions around the world. RZIM focuses on evangelism, apologetics, spiritual disciplines, training and humanitarian support. The organization's goal is to touch both the heart and the intellect of the thinkers and influencers in society by tackling some of the toughest questions about faith and providing thoughtful answers. For more information visit RZIM.org. Newsroom RZIM.org SOURCE Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) Apologist Ravi Zacharias died Tuesday, two months after he announced he had been diagnosed with cancer. The popular author and Christian teacher was known for his work through Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), which focused on apologetic arguments for the existence of God and the reasonableness of Christianity. He preached in more than 70 countries and authored more than 30 books in his 48-year career, teaching Christians to engage with skeptics and arguing that the Christian worldview has robust answers to humanity's existential questions. Zacharias was born in India and raised in an Anglican family. He recounted that his conversion to Christianity came while reading the Bible in the hospital after a failed suicide attempt as a teen. Zacharias started his ministry with the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA). A graduate of Ontario Bible College (now Tyndale University) and Trinity International University, he was commissioned as a national evangelist for the United States in 1977 and ordained in the CMA in 1980. He founded RZIM in 1984, and the organization has grown to about 200 employees in 16 offices around the world, with more than 70 traveling speakers. His best-selling book, Can Man Live Without God?, sold about 500,000 copies in 1995. His most recent book, The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind, won the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association's 2020 Christian book award in the Bible study category. Late in his ministry career, Zacharias faced claims that he overstated his academic background and implied he had earned a doctorate degree. Over the years, RZIM and Zacharias's publishers revised his biographies to clarify that he has received honorary doctorates and removed references to "Dr. Zacharias." Zacharias was also involved in a legal dispute over "sexually explicit" communication with a woman he met through his speaking ministry. Her lawyer said Zacharias had groomed and exploited her. Zacharias sued, and the lawsuit was settled out of court with a non-disclosure agreement. Earlier this year, doctors discovered a malignant tumor on Zacharias's sacrum as he underwent back surgery. He began receiving treatment for sarcoma at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The ministry posted an update on May 8 saying Zacharias's cancer was deemed untreatable, and he was sent home to Atlanta to be with his family. On social media, a wide range of Christians including Lee Strobel, Tim Tebow, and Christine Caine posted tributes with the hashtag #ThankYouRavi.