Deaf in Bangladesh

Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

In Bangladesh, the people who use sign language as their primary means of communication are an unreached people group using the Bangla dialect of the Bengali Sign Language.
During India's partition in 1947, Hindus moved west to what is now the Indian state of West Bengal and Muslims living in the west moved east to the region that became Bangladesh. Over time the two groups have developed separate dialects, the West Bengal Sign Language (WBSL) in West Bengal and the Bangla Sign Language (BaSL) in Bangladesh. Previously it has been thought that the Deaf in this region use Indian Sign Language (ISL). However, current research the great majority of the Deaf do not know ISL but use Bengali Sign Language and that it is a different language from ISL.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Greater concentrations of Deaf occur in the larger cities that have more resources for them. Deaf people who know sign language generally interact with other Deaf in many different groups, clubs, schools etc. Most members of the Deaf community, however, are not aware of how many deaf are isolated to their own neighborhood or home and have yet to learn BaSL.

What Are Their Beliefs?

For the most part, Islam is the only religion taught in Bangladesh. There are some Hindus and a very small number of Christians. There are many barriers to the gospel for the Deaf in that country.

What Are Their Needs?

The needs among the Bangladeshi deaf include the 99.9% who don't know the Lord, the 100% without a Bible in their mother-tongue, the 97% who could not understand a Bible even if they had one because they don't know BaSL, the 99.5% without any education, and the 40% unemployed. These factors make the Bangladeshi Deaf an oppressed and to varying levels, depressed people group.
Many Deaf are receptive to the gospel's hope and love message. However, the risk of converting is subject to intense pressure from their hearing families to keep the "traditional" religious values.

Prayer Points

Pray for them to have dreams and visions that will draw them to the only savior.
Pray for the Bangladesh Government to establish more schools for the Deaf.
Pray for workers among the Deaf to learn sign language.
Pray for resources for the Deaf and a Bible in their own language.

Scripture Prayers for the Deaf in Bangladesh.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Deaf
People Name in Country Deaf
Pronunciation def
Alternate Names
Population this Country 1,309,000
Population all Countries 50,266,000
Total Countries 216
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 26
People ID 19007
ROP3 Code 114916
ROP25 Code 301989
ROP25 Name Deaf
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 26  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 26  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Website South Asia Peoples

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent *
0.60 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.66 %
Ethnic Religions
0.49 %
9.10 %
89.01 %
0.11 %
Other / Small
0.03 %
0.00 %
* From latest Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Primary Language:  West Bengal Sign Language

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
None reported  
Photo Source Anonymous 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

Joshua Project logo    Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Contact Us   Copyright © 2024