The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) mourns the passing of Ravi Zacharias earlier today and expresses its condolences to the family. The evangelist, apologist and founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries has left a lasting legacy in the minds and hearts of countless people around the world whom he brought to faith or strengthened in their faith in Jesus Christ.
Born in India and raised in Canada, Ravi Zacharias became a prominent voice for Christian faith. Led to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ by a Youth for Christ ministry in his home city of Chennai India, he and his family moved to Toronto Canada. There he studied at Tyndale University and began ministry as an evangelist with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, eventually teaching in Nyack, New York at The Alliance Seminary in the department of evangelism and contemporary thought.
However, it was the launch of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministry (RZIM) in 1984 that moved him onto the global stage, a decision influenced while speaking at the 1983 Billy Graham conference of evangelists in Amsterdam. While considered an apologist, debating on the logic and rational of Christians faith, his unique gifting was as that of an evangelist.
As his ministry accelerated, he became an in-demand speaker. His twenty-five books, radio and television programs called Let My People Think gave voice to his persuasive preaching. Along with multiple offices from Singapore to South Africa, from India to North America, his voice and presence helped define a Christian approach which was both unique and compelling.
Core to his message were arguments that the Gospel was both rational and deeply satisfying, meeting those searching for truth and meaning. He was fearless, going into settings that were intellectually hostile, yet with a gentleness and Christian spirit of openness and civility.
Bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the WEA, noted: “The church has lost one of its most able defenders of the Christian faith. His ministry gave voice to why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is so compelling. Not only did Ravi speak convincingly himself, but his deep faith and understanding of the human mind, made it so. He will be so missed.”
Married to Margie, they have two daughters, Sarah and Naomi and son Nathan, and five grandchildren. He died from the complications of an aggressive form of bone cancer. He was 74 years of age.
To learn more about the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, visit rzim.org.
Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 9 regional and 134 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA’s mission is to establish and strengthen regional and national Evangelical Alliances, who in turn enable their national Church to advance the Good News of Jesus Christ and effect personal and community transformation for the glory of God. For more information, visit Worldea.org.