The Council of the Evangelical Alliance (United Kingdom) voted unanimously on 19 September to remove Avanti Ministries from membership of the Alliance with immediate effect.
The Alliance has worked with Avanti Ministries since October 2012 to seek the truth about allegations which questioned the veracity of Tony Anthony’s testimony. These allegations were very serious and included that Tony did not spend his childhood in China, he was never Kung Fu world champion and never worked in close protection. There were also questions as to how truthful Tony had been about his involvement in a fatal road traffic accident.
The Alliance recommended that Avanti set up an independent panel who heard evidence over 3 months and compiled a substantial report. The panellists – John Langlois, Keith Civall and Robert Amess – were recommended because of their experience, integrity and character.
Following the report by the independent panel, Avanti have sadly chosen to only communicate with the Alliance through their lawyer. The Alliance worked with Avanti and their lawyer to agree a joint statement. Both parties agreed in the statement that the panel found that ‘large sections of Taming the Tiger which claim to tell the truth, do not do so’.
It became clear from evidence in the public domain that following the fatal road traffic accident Tony Anthony was convicted of careless driving, failing to stop, failing to report an accident and perverting the course of justice. He was also convicted of four separate harassment offences. He was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for the above offences.
We have encouraged Avanti Ministries to release the panel’s report in the interest of openness and transparency. They have failed to do so.
We have asked Avanti Ministries to allow us to release the report. Avanti made clear through their lawyer they would not allow us to do this.
Avanti have issued a further statement that says the panel produced a report “challenging the integrity of some of the facts of Taming the Tiger. Tony has since confirmed that he is considering a revision to the book.” This statement is deeply disappointing as it is inconsistent with the report and the joint statement.
Avanti have indicated that they are closing their ministry. However, this may take some time and they are still listed on the Charity Commission website and with Companies house.
They have also indicated that their relationship with Tony Anthony has ended. However, Tony has since issued a statement purporting to speak on behalf of the Avanti Board which they have failed to correct.
In light of all of the above, and having heard an oral summary of the confidential report, the Council of the Evangelical Alliance has removed Avanti Ministries from membership.
The above statement is published on the EAUK website and can be viewed here.