Hossun Church (Church of the Immaculate Conception)

Hoson is a small town in the north of Jordan not far from the city of Irbid, which is the second largest city after the capital Amman.

The area is mostly agricultural and very hilly. Close by, between Hoson and Shatana, is a vast deep quarry, or rather system of quarries, covering an extremely wide area. They provide stone for road construction and building work giving employment to many of the population in the town. The economy of the area is generally poor, with many of those who do not work in the quarries having travel to work in Irbid.

The parish was established in 1885 when the majority of the population were of the  Orthodox faith, living under Turkish Ottoman rule. There had been some trouble from a Muslim tribe nearby who began to attack the Christians, fearing that they would be dominated by them. The Christian families complained to the Turkish Governor so he sent the troublesome tribe far away and brought in a more peaceful group. The area at that time was about two thirds Christian with an approximate population of 4000 Christian and 1200 Muslim. The Orthodox Christians wanted a priest there. As there was no Orthodox priest available, they asked the Latin Patriarch if he could send one to them.

From its foundation the school was small, situated in the house of the priest with only a few pupils  Soon after the parish had been established, the priest received a message from the authorities telling him to close the school and to stop the celebration of Mass. They took the keys of the church and dislodged the bells from the tower, throwing them to the ground in an effort to stop them from being rung. During these Ottoman times there were roughly 75 pupils with 2 teachers, one of whom was the priest.

It was the only school in Hoson, taking pupils of both Christian and Muslim faiths up to Secondary level.  The nearest Secondary school in the area was in Irbid.

By 1911 there were 130 students and the salary of the teachers was 1 gold Dinar. It was at this time that the murals inside the church were painted using the local children as models for the faces of the characters in the scenes.

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