For Kazakh Christians, their funerals are often an occasion for conflict with Kazakh Muslims. It is due to the incongruity between the traditional Kazakh people's funeral rites and the teachings of the Bible. This situation raises the need for adequate biblical guidance on the practical issues facing the Kazakh church. In this regard, this study aims to seek an approach for mission by understanding the perspective of the death of the traditional Kazakh nomad and illuminating it with biblical truth.
In the Central Asian region, indigenous folk religions such as Tengrism, ancestor worship, and saint worship have been practiced before the arrival of Islam. Sufism Islam, which spread throughout the region, did not reject the rites and ideas of indigenous folk religions, but rather accepted them as an element of Islam, which in turn led to the spread of Islam in Central Asia. From ancient times to the present day, the Kazakh people's religious practice combines Islamic ideas with elements of traditional folk religions, and shows the aspect of Syncretism in content. Understanding of death, one of the main themes of the Kazakh religious life, is also mixed-colored. Traditional Kazakh people's understanding of the death and afterlife is shown in their funeral cultures and customs.
For Kazakh Muslims, death is not merely a separation of souls from the body, but a transition from one world to another. In other words, after the life of this life is over, it moves to the life of that world. This understanding has been the basis of shaping faith in 'Aruak,' the ancestor's soul, among the Kazakhs since ancient times. 'Aruak' forms the core of the Kazakh people's immortality of souls, and it is the basis for the understanding that man will not die by blending with the Tengrism, the origin of this idea, and that of Islam, which was preached later. In this sense, the belief that the dead have a lasting relationship with the living has been formed, and these beliefs are visible through the practice of various customs of the Kazakh people's funeral.
The Kazakh people's perspective of death and the afterlife are in opposition to what the Bible says. The main doctrines of death, death, resurrection, and judgment are far from biblical truths. Nevertheless, the missionary approach must be taken carefully. Church leaders and missionaries should abandon their one-sided condemnation, denial, or uncritical acceptance of their ideas and understand their funeral culture and the context in which its meanings are formed. And a long-term, enduring effort is required to test and criticize the ideas with biblical truth and transform them into biblical perspectives. Through this process, a proper missionary approach to the Kazakh people's understanding of death will be made.