religious signs in bsl

100+ Intriguing religious signs in BSL

Learning different religious signs in BSL can really make a difference to the UK Deaf community. We’ve curated over 100+ different religious signs in BSL. Learning religious signs can play a significant role in supporting identity and providing a sense of community. In recent years, many religious settings have focussed on inclusivity and have created resources that aim to bridge the communication gap for deaf individuals.

Whether you are a parent, a member of a religious community, or simply interested in expanding your knowledge of BSL, our list of videos below will give you a better understanding on signs in various religious contexts. Most of the clips below have been created by NDCS. We have also shared alternative resources to help broaden your understanding of BSL signs in religious contexts.

Christian BSL Signs

This video clip by NDCS teaches you a number of signs relating to Christianity. The BSL signs in this clip include:

00:07 Hallelujah 00:14 Altar 00:24 Anglican 00:32 Advent (Preparing for the birth of Jesus) 00:44 Baptism (Christening an infant) 00:54 Baptism (Immersing the whole body in water) 01:02 Bible 01:12 Bishop 0:1:21 Blood of Christ (Blood from Jesus’ hands) 01:33 Christ’s body (The body of Jesus) 01:42 Candle 01:54 Cathedral

02:00 Catholic 02:08 Christmas 02:17 Church 02:26 Confession 02:38 Cross 02:44 Disciple 02:53 Easter 03:01 Easter egg 03:13 Communion 03:21 Fish (in the sea) 03:31 Fish (eating fish) 03:35 Grace 03:45 God 03:52 Gospel 04:02 Good Friday

04:09 Heaven 04:18 Hell 04:26 Holy spirit 04:36 Hot cross bun 04:48 Hymn 04:58 Jesus 05:03 Last supper 05:16 Lent 05:26 Lent 05:35 Pastor 05:47 Nativity 05:55 New Testament 06:06 Old Testament

06:16 Prayer 06:25 Praise 06:34 Pentecost 06:41 Protestant 06:51 Resurrection 07:00 Salvation 07:07 Sin 07:14 Soul 07:22 Trinity 07:32 Vicar 07:40 Wise men 07:49 Worship

Other Christian BSL resources:

  • Christian BSL has over 1000 signs relating to the Christian faith

Hinduism BSL Signs

This video clip by NDCS teaches you a number of signs relating to Hinduism. The BSL signs in this clip include:

00:07 Hindu 00:13 Buddha 00:20 Bhagavad Gita 00:31 Mandir 00:41 Pray 00:50 God 00:58 Deva 01:05 Agarbatti 01:15 Bell 01:23 Bell 01:28 Aarti 01:38 Puja 01:45 Holy water 01:55 Sit on the floor with crossed legs

02:08 Chanting 02:16 Bhajans 02:22 Prasad 02:34 Veda 02:42 Brahman 02:51 Guru (teacher) 02:59 Ohm 03:08 Jap 108 beads 03:18 Coconut 03:25 Red Tika 03:34 Chandlo 03:42 Gopi chandan 03:49 Throw rice and flowers 04:01 Fasting 04:11 Yoga 04:19 Spiritual 04:25 Soul

04:32 Namaste 04:41 Flower garland 04:51 Touch feet 05:02 Karma 05:09 Indian clothes 05:17 Dhoti Kurta 05:25 Sari 05:34 Bindi 05:41 Bangle 05:46 Gift 05:54 Diwali 06:00 Saal Mubarak 06:09 Rangoli 06:20 Navaratri 06:27 Dandiya 06:37 Indian instruments 06:47 Dholak 06:53 Tabla 06:58 Bansuri 07:05 Harmonium 07:14 Manjira 07:20 Shiva 07:27 Ganesh 07:35 Krishna 07:42 Laxmi 07:52 Hanuman 08:00 Rama 08:07 Sita 08:16 Saibaba 08:22 Laxman 08:30 Durga

Other Hindu BSL resources:

BSL Signs for Judaism

This video clip by NDCS teaches you a number of signs relating to Judaism. The BSL signs in this clip include:

00:06 Jewish (relating to people who follow Judaism) 00:13 Synagogue (the building where Jewish people worship) 00:21 Torah (holy book) 00:29 Rabbi (religious leader) 00:36 God 00:44 Hanukkah (eight-day Jewish celebration) 00:53 Shabbat (the Jewish day of rest) 01:02 Shalom (peace) 01:09 Kosher (food which Jewish people can eat) 01:16 Hebrew (the official language of Israel) 01:23 Bar Mitzvah (Jewish coming of age ritual) 01:31 Pesach (Jewish holiday of Passover) 01:38 Matzah (unleavened flatbread) 01:46 Seder (family meal eaten on the first night of Pesach) 01:53 Purim (Jewish holiday also known as the Feast of Lots)

02:01 Hamantashen (pastry eaten during Purim) 02:10 Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) 02:20 Tashlich (ritual performed at Rosh Hashanah) 02:28 Sabbath (Jewish day of rest) 02:36 Shavuot (celebration also called the Feast of Weeks) 02:44 Simchat Torah (Jewish holiday) 02:52 Succot (Jewish holiday) 03:00 Etrog (citrus fruit similar to a lemon) 03:04 Lulav (closed frond of the date palm tree)

03:10 Holocaust (genocide of European Jews during World War II) 03:17 Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) 03:23 Brit Milah (male circumcision ceremony) 03:28 Cheder (Hebrew school) 03:37 Shiva (period of mourning) 03:43 Stone setting (putting small stones on a grave as an act of remembrance) 03:50 Memorial candle (candle lit on the anniversary of a person’s death) 04:00 Candle 04:07 Divorce

04:13 Mikvah (ritual bath for purification) 04:20 Wedding 04:27 Challah (bread) 04:33 Kippah (skullcap worn by men, also knows as a yarmulke) 04:40 Mezuzah (religious symbol affixed to doorposts) 04:48 Minyan (number of men (10) required for certain religious obligations) 04:56 Peyot (long sideburns)

05:03 Talit (prayer shawl) 05:09 Tefillin (small black boxes containing Hebrew scrolls) 05:17 Diaspora (a group of people who spread from one original country to other countries) 05:24 Exile 05:29 Israel 05:35 Jerusalem O5:43 Orthodox (following the traditional rules of a religion) 05:50 Frum (religiously observant) 05:56 Ark (ornate cabinet in the synagogue where sacred Torah scrolls are kept) 06:02 Kiddush (Jewish blessing recited over a cup of wine) 06:09 Prayer

Judaism is one of the world’s oldest religions, and it holds a rich cultural and historical significance for its followers. For deaf individuals who practice Judaism, learning BSL signs will foster a sense of connection.

To learn the BSL signs for Judaism, we recommend referring to resources provided by organizations like the Jewish Deaf Association (JDA). The JDA has been instrumental in creating materials and videos that teach BSL signs specific to Judaism.

Other Judaism BSL resources:

BSL Signs for Islam

This video clip by NDCS teaches you a number of signs relating to Islam. The BSL signs in this clip include:

00:07 Dua (Prayer of Supplication) 00:17 Bismillah (In the name of Allah) 00:30 Asr (Afternoon Prayer) 00:43 As’salamu Alakium (Peace be upon you) 00:51 Adhan (The call of Prayer) 01:05 Akhirah (The Hereafter) 01:18 Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) 01:30 Allah Akbar (God is Greater) 01:42 Allah (God) 01:52 Eid (Festival)

02:00 Fajr (The dawn prayer) 02:13 Prophet Isa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) 02:26 Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (peace be upon him) 02:40 Niyyah (The intention in one heart to do act for the sake of God) 02:52 Muslim (A person who follows the religion of Islam)

03:00 Mosque (Place of prayer for Muslims) 03:11 Maghrib (The Sunset prayer) 03:26 Ma Shaa Allah (Allah has willed) 03:37 Jumu’ah (Friday prayer) 03:52 Jannah (Paradise) 04:03 Islam (Submission to the will of God) 04:11 Isha (Night prayer)

04:23 Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un (Surely, we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return) 04:45 In Shaa Allah (If God Willing) 04:55 Iftar (Break Fasting) 05:08 Haram (Forbidden) 05:17 Halal (Lawful) 05:26 Hajj (The Pilgrimage of the holy city of Mecca) 05:40 Zuhr (Noon prayer) 05:54 Zakah (Charity)

06:07 Ummah (Community, Commonly used to refer to the community of Muslims) 06:20 Taqwa (Piety, fear of Allah) 06:33 Subhan’Allah (Glory be to Allah is perfect) 06:46 Five Pillars of Islam (Declaration of faith) 07:00 Sawm (Fasting) 07:10 Salah (Prayer) 07:19 Sabr (Perseverance) 07:30 Quran 07:40 Qibla (Direction prayer) 07:54 Prophet Musa (Moses) (peace be upon him) 08:07 Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

For deaf individuals who practice Islam, understanding and using BSL signs can be immensely valuable. These signs enable you to engage in religious discussions and feel connected to the Muslim community.

Other Islam BSL resources:

BSL Signs for Other Religions


Unfortunately, there are very few BSL resources for Sikhism online. However, you can learn about the religion by reading information at:

  • The BBC archives also has information on Sikhism


Our tutors chose the clip by Alex Nowak, a native BSL user, who explains Buddhism in BSL.

You can find more information at Nirvana Dhamma

There is also Deaf Mindfulness (derived from Buddhism) by Trudi Collier

Final thoughts

Having access to these signs will enable you to connect to the wider deaf community members. Organisations, such as the Jewish Deaf Association and Deaf Muslim UK, have been instrumental in creating resources that teach BSL signs for specific religions. By continuing to develop and expand these resources, organisations can ensure that sign language users are supported and included in all aspects of religious life.