Sri Lanka: Sign Language Gospel


Overview


The Ceylon Bible Society (CBS) is translating the Gospel Parables of Jesus into Sign Language for the Christian deaf community in Sri Lanka, partnering with Christian Churches and other organisations in the country

There are more than 300,000 deaf and hearing-impaired people in Sri Lanka. Approximately 9% of Sri Lanka’s population suffer from some form of hearing disorder (World Health Organization, 2019). Moreover, Sri Lanka’s deaf community is marginalised socio-politically, and deaf people are unable to get required services efficiently from schools, hospitals, banks, courts and more, due to the lack of Sinhala to Sign Language interpretation support.

There are currently only five Christian schools for the deaf in Sri Lanka, and only five church denominations translate their church services into Sign Language. A visit to the School for the Deaf in Ratmalana convinced the Ceylon Bible Society of the importance of providing the children and young people with the Scriptures in their own language — sign language.

Statistics 

  • 300,000+ deaf or hearing-impaired people in Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka Federation of the Deaf data)
  • <8% of Sri Lankans are Christians
  • 26 schools for the deaf in Sri Lanka, 5 of them are Christian schools

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