Freedom of Religion
The religious leaders hoped to see this new zealous group fizzle out as others had done before. One wise leader said in Acts 5:39, "If it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God." Seriously, how far can you get fighting against God? He has unlimited resources, and has proven that He can lift up another to preach in place of one persecuted and even killed in his service. God is on our side; are you on His side?