Kirk Cameron Hosts New Year's Eve Event to 'Pray' Despite Calif. Stay-at-Home Order

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Kirk Cameron hosted a large gathering on a California beach on New Year’s Eve to pray “for our nation,” defying the state’s stay-at-home orders and marking the third time in several weeks he’s hosted or attended such an event amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

Cameron, 50, was joined by dozens of people at Point Mugu State Park in Ventura County for a “Sunset Singing and Prayer Event” on Thursday, and gave a four-minute speech to the crowd that was broadcast on Instagram and Facebook.

“We are inviting you to join us in prayer for our nation,” he said as a preface to the event.

Photos the Growing Pains star shared to his Instagram Story showed little to no social distancing among attendees, and no masks, despite the fact that the stay-at-home order forbids gatherings with members of other households, and requires masks.

“If you want to wear masks, we welcome masks,” Cameron said in a clip shared to his Instagram Story. “If you want to spread out with your family, there’s plenty of room here. Remember, you’re in charge of your healthcare. Use wisdom, common sense and good judgment with that.”

A rep for Cameron did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment.

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KABC reported that city officials said they were aware of a planned event that was unpermitted and were coordinating with law enforcement to alert the organizer that they can’t hold an event in Malibu.

The event comes as Cameron remains embroiled in controversy over two recent caroling events in California, where there were more than 32,000 new coronavirus cases reported on New Year’s Eve alone.

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A representative for Cameron told PEOPLE at the time that the second event, held on Dec. 22 at The Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks, was organized by community members and churches in the area, and that face masks and social distancing were encouraged.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Cameron said the caroling was intended to instill "hope and encouragement."

"During this awful pandemic, people are longing for hope and encouragement and we want to offer that to them...we encourage attendees wear masks and the freedom to socially distance, but we won't deny our neighbors the opportunity to sing Christmas carols outside in whatever manner they choose," he said. "Spirits were lifted and people were encouraged! This is America — the land of the free and the home of the brave."

A week before that, Cameron attended a similar event and documented it on his social media page, telling followers that the group would be “celebrating our God-given liberties” to gather.

Cameron’s actions have been publicly criticized by his former Growing Pains costars Jeremy Miller and Tracey Gold.

"While I will always love my brother Kirk, I could not disagree more with his holding these maskless events at a time when safety and concern for others is an extreme priority," Miller, 44, said in a statement to Page Six. "I truly couldn’t be more disappointed in him."

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Gold, meanwhile, who played the sister of Cameron’s character, wrote on Twitter that she did not approve.

"Checking in with my dear brother Mike. @KirkCameron As your more intelligent sister I want you to know that I disapprove," she wrote. "I'm worried about you brother AND your family. Wear a mask. Stay home. Sing later."

Candace Cameron Bure, Cameron’s sister in real life, also weighed in, writing on Twitter that she did not attend the events and that she wears a mask and social distances when she is in public.