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Keywords:

  • evangelical Christianity;
  • geographies of religion;
  • Sri Lanka;
  • productions of space;
  • religious growth;
  • structural mosaic

This paper incorporates a melange of ideas into a new understanding of evangelical Christian growth. Existing explanations of growth are well rehearsed within the social sciences, and draw clear distinctions between the characteristics of evangelical organisations and the structural contexts in which they operate. A number of theoretical and empirical assumptions render such explanations applicable in some countries, but not others. Drawing on empirical data from Sri Lanka, I argue that closer examination of the recursive relationship between organisation (agency) and context (structure) will lead to recognition of the fact that growth is a spatially defined process, with evangelical organisations being tied to localities in complex and multifarious ways. A heuristic device – the structural mosaic – is proposed and developed in order to account for the growth of evangelical Christian groups in hostile environments around the world.