Metropolitan bishop of Sliven Joanikii
(Non-clerical name: Ivan Georgiev Nedelchev)
Metropolitan bishop of Sliven Joanikii was born March 2nd,1939 in Pet mogili village, Nova zagora region, Stara Zagora district. He is the son of Georgi Nedelchev Kanev and Maria Milanova Ivanova.
He graduated the Sofia ecclesiastical seminary in 1958 and the High theological academy in 1964.
He took the vow on 1 April 1961 by the Stara Zagora metropolitan bishop Kliment in the Maglish monastery. He was ordained a deacon on August 28th, 1961 by the bishop of Glavinitsa Stefan, who later became a metropolitan bishop of Veliko Tarnovo, in “The Virgin Mary “temple in Pazardjik.
He was ordained a monk on March 17th, 1963 by the Makariopolski bishop Nikolai in the chapel of the “St Kliment Ohridski” Theological academy - Sofia
From 1964 to 1966 he is a scholarship student of the Moscow theological academy, which he graduated as a "Master of Theology" degree.
He was appointed to the post of coadjutor of Sliven eparchy from 1 August 1966 to 20 October 1968.
He was ordained archimandrite on November 24th, 1968 in “St Dimitar” church in Sliven by the Sliven metropolitan bishop Nikodim.
He was a coadjutor of Stara Zagora bishopric from October 20th, 1968 to March 1st, 1972. He left for specialization in Bern, Switzerland in the Faculty of Catholic Theology in 1970. He studied there to December 10th, 1971.
He was appointed again to the post of a coadjutor of Sliven eparchy in March 1, 1972.
He was ordained a Bishop of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on April 25th, 1975 /with the title Great/.
He was chosen by the clergy and the people for a Metropolitan bishop of Sliven on March 23rd, 1980 and canonized by the Holy Synod for a Metropolitan bishop of Sliven on April 13th, 1980.
Metropolitan bishop Joanikii is a member of the Holy Synod and a chairman of the Theological commission at the Holy Synod.