The region is home to 21.3 million and rests squarely in the midst of the middle “belt” of Africa where ethnic and religious tensions cause ongoing violence.* The region suffers from high levels of illiteracy, poverty, HIV/AIDS, corruption and the limited availability of literature in local languages. The official language of the area is French, although there are many local adaptations. About half of the population claims Christianity followed closely by Islam.* Animism is deeply embedded in the culture often resulting in syncretism in those following Christianity or Islam.
*Source: Operation World