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The Chicago-Bladet was begun as a Swedish Christian newspaper edited and published by the layman, John Martenson. The first issue was dated February 16, 1877 as a weekly 8-page paper, providing "Christian and Political News for Swedes in America." Nonetheless it quickly became the unofficial organ of the Swedish Evangelical Free Church. It was in 1926 that the paper was purchased and adopted as the official organ of the SEFC. (The SEFC, now known as the Evangelical Free Church of America is the church denomination of which Trinity International University is one of its institutions of higher learning.) The emphasis of the Chicago-Bladet moved to serving as a way of strengthening the faithful of the Free Church and offering news and perspective from a distinctly Evangelical Free Church perspective.

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