The Founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was part of the generation whose crucibles were World War II and the advent of nuclear weapons that could vaporize civilization. The stakes were so high, victory was either a win or a loss—there were no draws or rematches. Another great man of that era, England’s Winston Churchill, commented that “without victory, there is no survival.”

Mr. Hubbard imbued Scientology with one paramount imperative: survival. But to survive, humanity had to flourish, had to be free. “The one impulse in Man which cannot be erased is his impulse toward freedom,” Mr. Hubbard wrote in 1954, “his impulse toward sanity, toward higher levels of attainment in all of his endeavors.”

The Church of Scientology has traveled that path for more than six decades, growing and strengthening. At every step in its first several decades, the religion was assaulted by totalitarian and manipulative interests—in governments, organized psychiatry, pharmaceutical conglomerates, the small minds of the religiously intolerant. The Church won, won and won again—and, by the way, won some more.

At the helm of Scientology for the last 30 years, David Miscavige has had a single, driving purpose: to spread the survival tools of Scientology to every corner of the globe and, thereby, halt the lurching downward spiral of civilization. The vast majority of the job is building the young religion, for today and for all tomorrows to come.

That’s called expansion. It takes hard work to establish a global Church. The spiritual path of Scientology becomes available to more people, who see that it works. That Church grows, carries out humanitarian programs that push back against the darkness of social decay, crime and mental and spiritual slavery. The Church opens groups and missions, which grow into Churches of their own, and the cycle accelerates.

Aiding all that is the dazzling momentum of the religion’s publishing, filmmaking, broadcasting and online dissemination endeavors. The greatest advance in that arena came in 2016, with the opening of a renowned and vintage Hollywood studio that is now Scientology Media Productions.

All of these episodes of growth are recounted in this special year-in-review issue of Freedom, the voice of the Church. The real beneficiaries of the progress and the triumphs in these pages are you—every man, woman and child on the planet—because our goal is freedom and survival for all.