Evangelist who built global ministry dies in Atlanta at 74

ATLANTA (AP) — Evangelist Ravi Zacharias, who built an international ministry that strives to defend Christianity on intellectual grounds, has died in Georgia. He was 74.

Zacharias died Tuesday at his home in Atlanta after a brief battle with sarcoma, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries said in a statement.

The Rev. Billy Graham invited Zacharias to preach at the inaugural International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam in 1983, the organization said.

He rose to prominence as a defender of the “intellectual credibility” of Christianity, the ministry said.

The ministry's mission is “helping the thinker believe and the believer think," it said in announcing the death of Zacharias.

Zacharias “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,” Michael Ramsden, the ministry's president, said in a statement.