Sarah Chakko

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Sarah Chakko (born February 13, 1905 in Trichur , India , † January 25, 1954 in Lucknow ) was a member of the Syrian Orthodox Church and was the first woman to be elected to the Presidium of the World Council of Churches .

Chakko was the second daughter (fourth of ten children) of Police Superintendent Mazhuvancheriparambath Avaram Chakko in Kerala . She studied history and taught the subject from 1925 at higher girls' schools, initially in Madras . In 1937 she completed a master's degree in Chicago. In 1943 she was appointed professor at the Isabella Thoburn College in Lucknow, of which she later became director.

Besides teaching the devout Christian in itself organized Christian Student Alliance ( Student Christian Movement , SCM ) and became its chairman for India, Burma and Sri Lanka. She was also with the YWCA . Because of her commitments, she traveled extensively to the United States, Europe and the Middle East. In 1950 she became involved in the work of the World Council of Churches and was elected as its successor after the resignation of President TC Chao in August 1951. This made her the first woman in the Council Presidium and the first (and for several decades the last) ecumenical functionary in the Syrian Orthodox Church. It is true that she submitted to her bishop as a believer, which she also emphasized in her vocation; However, through her work and other commitment she was closer to other denominations in terms of content, especially the Presbyterians and the Methodists .

Her unexpected death prevented her from attending her first assembly in Evanston, Illinois , in August 1954, from a heart condition.


  • Antonius Lux (ed.): Great women of world history. A thousand biographies in words and pictures . Sebastian Lux Verlag , Munich 1963, p. 103.
  • Leonie B. Liveris: Ancient Taboos and Gender Prejudice. Challenges for Orthodox Women and the Church. Ashgate Verlag, Burlington 1988, pp. 38-41.
  • Hedwig Thomä: Sarah Chakko: a great Indian . Evangelischer Missionsverlag (worldwide series; 4), Stuttgart 1961, 4th edition (first edition 1955), 90 pp.

Individual evidence

  1. "Miss Sarah Chakko passes away" ( Memento of the original from November 9, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Church Weekly , Lucknow ?, 7 February 1954. This article first appeared in Indian Witness , 28 January 1954. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /