I had a strange exchange with a user on this forum. They took a view I doubt Thomas Aquinas would have agreed with. They felt that anything that interfered with saying the Mass was persecution.
Let me give you two trivial examples where it logically is not and a real-world example where it might be.
Imagine a priest, for whatever reason, may be late to say the mass and is hurrying to church. Rather than go to a corner and cross at the light using a crosswalk, the priest walks between two parked vehicles and crosses in the middle of the street. A policeman detains the priest, even though they know why they committed the misdemeanor of jaywalking. The police officer explains that they never make exceptions based on rank or position and that they were to be detained until the officer writes the ticket. The priest is late but does make it to church.
Instead, imagine the same priest had lived in a different city and had forgotten to renew their vehicle registration. They are pulled over for a broken tail light. Upon inspection, the police officer impounds the vehicle as it is illegal for it to be driven. The priest never makes it to say the mass.
The other person argued that any use of the civil law that interferes with the mass is a persecution of the Christian Church.
There is a real-world flip side to this coin. Richard Nixon's former chief of staff admitted in an interview that the actual reason for the war on drugs and the making of certain drugs illegal was to facilitate the arrest of Nixon's political opponents. The law was targeted at blacks and hippies. If they could be blocked from voting by arrests, then Nixon would likely win the election. The language of the law is neutral but clearly written to target people on the basis of race and political affiliation. A law with completely neutral language could be written to target Christian churches.
Under Catholic and Orthodox theology, when would a law be considered as persecuting the church? Persecution is not a trivial thing, in my mind, and certainly not a claim to vainly bandied about.