'I was unable to defend one Jewish woman - my own mother'
With 71 books under his belt, awards for journalism and ties with the most important of politicians, Mike Evans, an evangelist Christian, says he lives for the State of Israel and is considered one of the world’s leading pro-Israel advocates; a difficult childhood with an abusive, anti-Semitic father and a Jewish mother led him to where he is today.
He is regarded a best-selling writer, commentator, award-winning journalist and the head of several non-profit organizations, including the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, which he also founded. But the most important thing the American Dr. Mike Evans lives and works for is the State of Israel.
In an exclusive interview with Ynet, he tells of what led him to become one of the most widely-heard voices speaking out in favor of Israel on the international stage, effectively devoting his life to the State of Israel.
Evans, 70, the writer of 71 books, is an evangelist Christian and a well-known figure in the United States. He was born to a Jewish mother and Christian father, but was brought up to be a devout Christian who suffered continual abuse from his anti-Semitic father.
“My mother was Jewish. She came from an orthodox family, whose parents arrived from Eastern Europe and Belarus,” he says. “Her grandfather was Rabbi Michael Katzenelson. She herself didn’t like Christians, and when I was four she told me Christians had killed Jews, that Jesus is dead and there’s no need to resurrect him, and that the pope and Hitler too were Christians. But she married my father, who was a Christian, and had seven children with him.
“My father came from the conservative south. He raised us as Christians. He used to go to church, but he was a hypocrite too. On Friday evenings he would get drunk, and when he’d come home, he would beat up my mother, calling her a Jewish whore, and say I was not his son but rather a bastard, an illegitimate Jewish offspring. He therefore never called me ‘son,’ he never loved or hugged me. Instead he abused me.”
The young Mike feared for his life. “My goal in life was to reach age 20, since I was sure my father was going to kill me before that. When I was 11, he attempted to kill me for trying to defend my mother. That was the only time. I had never defended her while he was beating her up. But that time I said ‘Stop it,’ and he chased me, choked me, and when I looked in his eyes, I knew I was going to die. That I was never going to be 20. I knew I wasn’t going to make it through the night. I threw up on myself and fainted, and when I opened my eyes a few hours later, I was angry I was still alive.
"I remember that anger. I prayed angrily in the dark: God, why was I born? It didn’t make any sense. I was a small, broken child. And that was when I realized it, the moment I had said that. I was born to defend the Jewish people. That’s the night I arrived at that realization.”
Ever since then, Evans has been devoting his life to Israel. He is regarded an important lobbyist in the international arena, he has met American presidents, heads of state, and the pope. “I was unable to defend one Jewish woman - my own mother. It’s true I was unable to defend her, but that pain became my strength.”