Islam accounts for approximately 15% (750,000 people) of the population of the Central African Republic, making it the second most followed organized religion in the country after Christianity (80%). The vast majority of Muslims are Sunni of Maliki school of jurisprudence. Most Central African Muslims live in the north-east, near the border with predominantly Muslim Chad and Sudan.
Islam arrived in Central African Republic with the first Arab slave traders in the 17th Century as part of the expansion of the Saharan and Nile River slave routes. They sent slaves to North Africa or South the Ubanqui and Congo rivers. In February 2014, tens of thousands of Muslims fled the Central African Republic for Chad as they felt they were no longer safe in the country.