the Christian Reformed Church; The Church Herald of the Reformed Church in America; and The Standard-Bearer of the Protestant Reformed Church.
The history of the Dutch ethnic press has not been completely unlike that of other ethnic presses. Dutch-language publications continued to be published as long as there were Dutch Americans who could read the language. Until recently, relatively few publications used both English and Dutch.
The early, secular Dutch-language publications served as a primary communications link between the immigrants and their old and new homelands. There were few Dutch ethnic English-language publications that served this news function. As members of the various Dutch settlements learned and used the English language, and as succeeding generations grew further from the Dutch language, there was less need for publications that chiefly stressed news and advertising. These items could be found in the local American newspapers. The successful Dutch newspapers were those published in communities that continued to receive new arrivals. Publications that were religious in content or that carried news from other Dutch communities served the population longer and appear to have had a more stable existence.
In recent years more sophisticated communications and travel have reduced the need for Dutch newspapers among new immigrants. The Dutch ethnic secular magazines that exist today serve to keep traditions and heritage alive but are not the crucial link that was needed in earlier times. The current publications attempt to reach beyond recent immigrants to the second and third (and often further) generations of Dutch Americans. 25
Religion has been a tremendous force in maintaining a closeknit Dutch subculture in American society. The Dutch learned American ways and the English language relatively quickly, but for the most part maintained their own Protestant churches and a clannishness that is evident even today.
The retention of their ethnic identity through their religious solidarity is evidenced in the number of religious publications which have been born out of this immigrant group. The Dutch ethnic religious press has been continuous and successful, accommodating itself to the inevitable language shift and other changes that come with the acculturation of an immigrant population. The ethnoreligious bonds of the Dutch Americans that have retarded assimilation are the same ties that have kept their ethnic press alive and operative.