September 9, 2021

The Gospel of Mark has been fully translated into Russian Sign Language (RSL). The translation was produced by the Institute for Bible Translation in partnership with the "Desnitsa" Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Videos of all 16 chapters of Mark are now available for viewing on IBT's YouTube channel. In order to explain biblical concepts and difficult passages to Deaf audiences, supplementary materials consisting of 31 "footnotes" (commentary video entries) and 98 glossary video entries were also produced.

According to one authoritative estimate, there are up to 200,000 people in Russia who cannot hear and up to 13 million who are hard of hearing. The latter are either Russian speakers or bilingual (that is, they speak both Russian and RSL), but for the part of the population that is completely deaf from birth, the Russian language is not their mother tongue. In fact, Russian is a separate subject of study for them, similar to a foreign language. In their everyday life these people use RSL as their natural language. Reading the Bible in Russian causes significant difficulties for this group, and there is still no Orthodox Church translation of even a single book of the Bible into RSL. So it is no wonder that the majority of deaf people are far from the Russian Orthodox Church, or from any Christian confession, for that matter...

Your donation will help the Russian Sign Language Bible translation project to be continued in 2023.