question about past events that have contributed to religious persecution in the middle east
That's an extremely complicated and subjective question - but here are a few things you can look up and examine further:
*Christians in Lebanon
*Kurds in Turkey
*Sunni vs. Shia (some specific events include Bloody Thursday, the still on-going Bahraini uprisings, etc.)
*the ongoing battle between Palestine and Israel, depending on what side you're on, the new boundaries drawn in 1949 for Israel can be agrued either way as a persecution
*If you want to go out on a limb and surprise someone, you can even focus on the role of women in Islamic culture as religious persecution
---Essentially, there are a lot of options that you need to explore and down. I can help you more if you can get more specific.