Anne Rice, the author of Interview with a Vampire, has “quit” Christianity over the faith’s “hostile” attitudes to gay rights, women and contraception.

She converted to Catholicism 12 years ago but announced on her Facebook yesterday that although she remained “committed to Christ”, she no longer wanted to be part of the faith.

Rice was brought up Catholic but was atheist for many years until vowing at the age of 57 to dedicate her writing entirely to Christ.

On Tuesday, she posted a link on her Facebook page to a story about a US Republican-linked punk rock Christian ministry which allegedly said that Muslim countries which execute gay people are more “moral” than the US.

Rice wrote: “No wonder people despise us, Christians, and think we are an ignorant and violent lot. I don’t blame them. This kind of thing makes me weep. Maybe commitment to Christ means not being a Christian.

On Wednesday, she added: “For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity.

“It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.

“I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

She updated her page today to say that her faith in Christ was “central” but “following Christ does not mean following His followers”.

Rice’s son Christopher is gay and contributes to the US gay magazine Advocate.