Michael Stephens, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, said Israel has always been very concerned about missionary activity inside its borders. Proselytizing “goes against what the state is there to do, which is to protect Jewish identity,” he said. There has always been an “uncomfortable marriage” between Israel and evangelical Christian groups who support Israel but can also seek to convert Jews, Stephens said. “Be Christian, fine; go visit the holy places, fine; support Israel. But do not go around trying to convert people, that’s always a red line,” he said.