Ravi Zacharias was called home to be with the Lord on May 19.

Photo from Ravi Zacharias on Facebook

Christian apologist and evangelist Ravi Zacharias was called home to be the Lord today (May 19) in his home in Atlanta, following a brief battle with sarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer. He was 74.

The news was announced by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), which Dr Zacharias founded in 1984. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Margie; daughters, Sarah and Naomi; son, Nathan; and five grandchildren.

His daughter Sarah Davis, who is currently the CEO of RZIM, wrote in a post announcing his passing: “Today my beautiful father is more alive than he has ever been. We thank God for him and recommit our lives to sharing this truth with all who will hear, until He calls us to our eternal home.

“It was his Saviour, Jesus Christ, that my dad always wanted most to talk about. 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.

“Today my beautiful father is more alive than he has ever been.”

“He perpetually marvelled that God took a 17-year-old sceptic, 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.”

Widely regarded as one of this generation’s top philosophers, Dr Zacharias became a Christian after a suicide attempt at 17 and, ten years later, founded RZIM with a focus on evangelism undergirded by apologetics. 

Last November, after 35 years of worldwide ministry with RZIM, Dr Zacharias stepped down and handed the reins of the organisation, which has 15 offices across the world, to Davis.

On March 12, just a month shy of his 74th birthday, Dr Zacharias revealed in a Facebook post that he had been diagnosed with sarcoma.

A tumour in his sacrum had been discovered after emergency back surgery for his chronic back pain, which had plagued Dr Zacharias for much of his life.

“Jesus’ triumph over death captures my defeat and takes me into His victory.”

Less than two months later on May 9, Davis put out an update disseminated to over 300 staff in 15 countries that her father had decided to cease all cancer treatment and return to his home in Atlanta, having run out of medical options for further treatment.

Thanking friends and the medical teams at the cancer centre who “came alongside in many generous and unexpected ways”, Davis said that Dr Zacharias would be going home so that “our family can be together for whatever time the Lord gives us.”

As he underwent chemotherapy in April, Dr Zacharias wrote in an Easter reflection: “Death is either a full stop or a comma. In the Christian worldview, it is a comma. There is for the Christian both the passing of all things and the abiding in Christ’s provision.

“The resurrection makes the difference. Jesus’ triumph over death captures my defeat and takes me into His victory.”


“Full of emotions, but also peace”: Ravi Zacharias stops cancer treatment to spend “whatever time the Lord gives us” with family


“We have already seen evidence of God’s hand”: Ravi Zacharias on his unexpected sarcoma diagnosis



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