Quite the contrary, I'd argue that beliefs and desires shape how we interpret "evidence." That is, I have a certain set of desires and beliefs that influences my view of the world. When I observe and interpret things, I do so through the lenses of those beliefs and desires. That, in turn, shapes what I construe as "evidence."
But of course, it's not a unilateral relationship. Sometimes, we might acquire beliefs that enable us to interpret the world in such a way that it contradicts our existing sets of beliefs. Like your changing your religious beliefs.
I think beliefs and desires precede "evidence." Consequently, I believe that if we want to convince other people of things, we have to address their inherent beliefs and personal desires, rather than merely presenting them with our "evidence."
Thanks for engaging!