They were afraid of Yossarian and persecuted him incessantly with nagging generosity and with their exasperating insistence on doing small favors for him.
But Aarfy was already back in the apartment when Yossarian arrived, and Yossarian gaped at him with that same sense of persecuted astonishment he had suffered that same morning over Bologna at his malign and cabalistic and irremovable presence in the nose of the plane.
There are no more uses of "persecution" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
Everyone knows about the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis.
In that country non-Muslims are persecuted by law.