Funeral services were held on March 12 at Spring of Life Church in the city of Kremenchuk for the man Voice of the Martyrs Korea is calling “Ukraine’s IT martyr”.

26-year-old Anatoliy Berezhny was struck from behind by Russian mortar fire on March 6 while assisting a woman and two children who were attempting to evacuate from the area near Kyiv. 

“When most people think of martyrs, they think of pastors and missionaries,” says Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley. “But Brother Anatoliy was a help desk specialist and a system administrator for Tech/Uklon, a local IT company. At Irpin Bible Church he was in charge of equipment and also served in media ministry, but he was not an ordained minister. 

Representative Foley says that her organization recognizes Berezhny as a martyr.  

What makes Brother Anatoliy a martyr is not that he was a Christian who died while helping others. What makes him a martyr is that according to the testimony of those who knew him, he made a deliberate decision to lay down his life for Christ. The Lord seems to have given Brother Anatoliy an understanding that his service would lead to his death, and Brother Anatoliy willingly chose that path.” 

Ukraine’s “IT Martyr”, Anatoliy Berezhny. (Photo: Diana Berezhny)

Brother Anatoliy’s wife prays in front of the casket of her husband at his funeral on March 12th.

Berezhny and his wife are from Eastern Ukraine, close to Luhansk. One and a half years ago they moved from Severodonetsk to the Irpin area and began to attend Irpin Bible Church, where they became active members. When fighting came close to their area, Berezhny took his wife to a safe location in Western Ukraine while he himself returned to Irpin to serve on a volunteer team organized by his church.  

“The team helped evacuate 100 to 200 citizens per day, with many of those people referred to them by city officials,” says Representative Foley. According to a tribute to Berezhny posted on Facebook by his employer, Berezhny and his fellow volunteers drove over 400 people to safety in a twoday period. 

“A friend of Brother Anatoliy who was also on the volunteer team said that the day before he died, they encountered an armored personnel carrier on the road. They were miraculously saved by making a sharp turn into the woods and even hit a tree,” says Representative Foley. The friend thinks that that evening, Brother Anatoliy prepared his heart for the reality of death because he was so quiet. Then in the morning they decided to go to the city again to try to help a few more people to be evacuated. 

Diana, Anatoliy’s wife, shared some of her favorite photos of the two of them with us.

Ukraine’s “IT Martyr”, Anatoliy Berezhny. (Photo: Diana Berezhny)

That was the morning when a group of citizens seeking evacuation had to cross a fallen bridge to board a waiting bus. Witnesses say Berezhny went to assist a woman with two children, but the group was struck by mortar fire and killed about 200 meters from the bus. 

“People often think of martyrs as bold preachers, but Brother Anatoliy is a good example of a martyr who heard the word and then did the word,” says Representative Foley. “During the funeral service, Brother Anatoliy’s wife Diana said that it was difficult for him to speak his thoughts out loud, but that he often wrote them down in a notebook. She said, ‘He was good in listening, not speaking.She shared in the funeral a section on the resurrection that Brother Anatoliy wrote in one of his notebooks, saying she believed it explained the reason why he did what he did.”  

The note from Berezhny said:We must continue to work tirelessly in the Lord’s work precisely because we will also be raised from the dead as Christ has risen. Everything we do to draw people to the Kingdom and strengthen their faith will be truly eternal. For we will all be resurrected on the day when Christ returns and lives with us.” 

Anatoliy and Diana Berezhny at their wedding. Voice of the Martyrs Korea sent funds to Mrs. Berezhny from its Families of Martyrs fund. (Photo: Diana Berezhny) <>

Anatoliy on his wedding day.

“Several people at the service shared how Brother Anatoliy mentored the people around him through the Bible,” Representative Foley added. “His wife said he always had his headphones on, listening to the Bible. She said that often when he came home from work she liked to take one of the headphones and put it in her ear, and then they would listen to God’s word together. 

Berezhny, the fourth of six children, came from a Christian family. His grandfather was a senior presbyter of Baptist churches in the Luhansk region from 1995 to 2008. 

Berezhny’s father-in-law, who noted that his and Berezhny’s families had long been close friends, also spoke at the funeral. Someone says it is a great joy to see your own children walking in the truth,” he said. “But I would say today that it is a great joy to see children dying in the truth.”  

Funeral services were held on March 12 at Spring of Life Church in the city of Kremenchuk for the man Voice of the Martyrs Korea is calling “Ukraine’s IT martyr”.

Representative Foley says that Voice of the Martyrs Korea sent a love gift of 2,500,000 KRW to Berezhny’s wife from its Families of Martyrs fund. She says her organization is in the process of sending love offerings from the Families of Martyrs fund to the widows of five Christian men from Mariupol who died last month when a grenade exploded near their car after they had been bringing food and supplies to those in need. The five had led a man to the Lord after rescuing him from the basement of a burning house days before they were killed. 

“The most basic and important ministry of Voice of the Martyrs is to care for the families of those who are martyred or imprisoned for their faith,” says Representative Foley.   

Representative Foley says that the organization is continuing to administer its Ukraine Christian Emergency Relief project, in addition to making disbursements from its Families of Martyrs fund to the families of Ukrainian Christians who are killed in the act of Christian witness. Those who are interested in making a donation to either fund can do so at or via electronic transfer to: 

국민은행 (KB Bank) 463501-01-243303 

예금주 (Account Holder): ()순교자의소리 

Please include the word “Ukraine” or “Families of Martyrs” with the donation. 

Pictured is Anatoliy and several volunteers of the Irpin Bible Church. He is in the 2nd row, 3rd from the right. These men were helping community members recently during the war.

Anatoliy's siblings and in-laws sing at his funeral.

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