ORONO, Maine — A conservative Christian from South Carolina who converted to Islam will speak Friday and Saturday at events sponsored by Muslim Student Association at the University of Maine.
The organization holds an event every spring to educate and raise awareness about Islam.
Yusha Evans, who now lives in Minneapolis, will lecture at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Room 137 of Bennett Hall at the university on the purpose of life. He will speak at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Islamic Center of Maine, 151 Park St., Orono. His topic is titled “How to Gain Allah’s Pleasure.”
Evans, now 30, was on his way to becoming a minister and enrolling in Bob Jones University in his hometown of Greenville, S.C., when he encountered a Muslim who brought him to a Friday service and gave him a copy of the Quran in 1996. Two years later, Evans converted to Islam, according to information on his website yushaevens.com.
“I finally feel I have made a real connection with something greater than myself,” he said of his conversion. “I feel with Islam that a connection has finally been made with the creator, and when you feel a connection like that, there’s no way it cannot change you.”
Evans, who was born Joshua Evans, now travels extensively lecturing and conducting workshops about Islam. Last week, he took part in a program at the University of Missouri St. Louis, according to information on his website. He also has founded two Islamic television stations in North America.
In addition to lecturing, Evans runs a martial arts academy in Minneapolis. He is married and the father of three, according to his website.