“Freedom of worship” has recently replaced the phrase “freedom of religion” in public pronouncements from the Obama administration. Experts are concerned that the new rhetoric may signal a policy change.
While Obama’s administration may simply be using different words to say the same thing, the timing of the change is worrisome, said Thomas Farr, religion professor at Georgetown University. Obama just recently announced an ambassador for international religious freedom (Suzan Johnson Cook), but the position has been demoted within the State Department.
“It puts what otherwise might have been passed off as a rhetorical shift under the spotlight a little more,” Farr said.