RELIGION

Cabinet strips top Shiite cleric in Bahrain of nationality

  • FILE- In this Feb. 2, 2014 file photo, Sheik Isa Qassim, Bahrain's top Shiite Muslim cleric, center, smiles during a gathering of Shiite clerics at a mosque in Manama, Bahrain. Bahrain's government stripped a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his nationality following a request from the country's Interior Ministry. The Bahrain News Agency quotes the Interior Ministry Monday, June 20, 2016, as saying the cleric had played a key role in creating an extremist sectarian atmosphere and working to divide the society. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

    FILE- In this Feb. 2, 2014 file photo, Sheik Isa Qassim, Bahrain's top Shiite Muslim cleric, center, smiles during a gathering of Shiite clerics at a mosque in Manama, Bahrain. Bahrain's government stripped a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his nationality following a request from the country's Interior Ministry. The Bahrain News Agency quotes the Interior Ministry Monday, June 20, 2016, as saying the cleric had played a key role in creating an extremist sectarian atmosphere and working to divide the society. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this May 17, 2013 file photo, Bahraini anti-government protesters hold posters of top Shiite cleric Sheik Isa Qassim as they wait for a demonstration to show their support for him, in Karrana, Bahrain, just outside the capital of Manama. Bahrain's government stripped a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his nationality following a request from the country's Interior Ministry. The Bahrain News Agency quotes the Interior Ministry Monday, June 20, 2016, as saying the cleric had played a key role in creating an extremist sectarian atmosphere and working to divide the society. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

    FILE- In this May 17, 2013 file photo, Bahraini anti-government protesters hold posters of top Shiite cleric Sheik Isa Qassim as they wait for a demonstration to show their support for him, in Karrana, Bahrain, just outside the capital of Manama. Bahrain's government stripped a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his nationality following a request from the country's Interior Ministry. The Bahrain News Agency quotes the Interior Ministry Monday, June 20, 2016, as saying the cleric had played a key role in creating an extremist sectarian atmosphere and working to divide the society. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Aug. 8, 2014 file photo, Bahraini anti-government protesters carry signs and national flags during a march in the northern village of Abu Saiba, Bahrain. Bahrain's government stripped a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his nationality following a request from the country's Interior Ministry. The Bahrain News Agency quotes the Interior Ministry Monday, June 20, 2016, as saying the cleric had played a key role in creating an extremist sectarian atmosphere and working to divide the society. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

    FILE- In this Aug. 8, 2014 file photo, Bahraini anti-government protesters carry signs and national flags during a march in the northern village of Abu Saiba, Bahrain. Bahrain's government stripped a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his nationality following a request from the country's Interior Ministry. The Bahrain News Agency quotes the Interior Ministry Monday, June 20, 2016, as saying the cleric had played a key role in creating an extremist sectarian atmosphere and working to divide the society. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)  (The Associated Press)

Bahrain has stripped a leading Shiite cleric in the Arab Gulf country, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his Bahraini nationality following a request from the Interior Ministry.

The Bahrain News Agency quotes the Interior Ministry on Monday as saying the cleric had played a key role in creating an extremist sectarian atmosphere and working to divide the society.

The decision to strip Qassim of his nationality comes just a week after the country's largest Shiite opposition group, Al-Wefaq, was suspended amid lingering unrest.

The cleric is the latest Bahraini Shiite to lose his nationality in the island-nation. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says at least 250 people have been stripped of their Bahraini citizenship in recent years due to their alleged disloyalty to the Sunni-led kingdom.