Christian apologist, author, and broadcaster Ravi Zacharias died earlier today, his family announced. In early May, his family said Zacharias would stop treatment for cancer on his spine. Zacharias was 74.
Zacharias grew up in Delhi, India. As a teenager, he attended a local Youth for Christ (YFC) rally with his siblings. At one meeting, he responded to an altar call.
Despite this interest in spiritual things, Zacharias at one point despaired of life itself, even to the point of self-harm. A YFC worker visited him and shared the truth of John 14:19, where Jesus says, “Because I live, you also will live.”
At age 17, Zacharias accepted Christ as his Savior. He began sharing the gospel publicly at age 19 and even won a preaching contest.
When he was 20, Zacharias moved with his family to Canada. He obtained theological degrees from Ontario Bible College—now Tyndale University College and Seminary—and Trinity International University.
After graduating from Bible college, Zacharias traveled the world preaching. He founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) in 1984 to train Christians in formal Christian apologetics (logic and reasoning). Today, RZIM employs about 75 Christian apologists who defend the faith and train Christian leaders around the world.
Zacharias loved the sport of cricket and the culinary arts. He once wrote, “My family still thinks that after I retire, I will open a small restaurant somewhere. If I ever did, it would be for great conversations around a great meal.”
Like many prominent Christian leaders, Zacharias’ life was not without controversy. He faced criticism for occasionally going by “Dr.” Zacharias, despite the fact that his many doctorates were honorary.
Zacharias leaves behind his wife of 48 years, Margie, as well as three adult children and several grandchildren.
(Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias [1946-2020], founder and chairman of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. RZIM @RZIMhq/Twitter)