(Minghui.org) A married couple in Yichun City was tried in court for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Mr. Luo Shiliang and his wife Wu Jinying were arrested on October 2, 2016, and appeared in court on September 26, 2017. Their two lawyers entered a not guilty plea for them, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.

Ms. Wu also testified in her own defense. She explained that Falun Gong helps people elevate their moral standard and improve their health. She credits the practice for giving her strength to care for a bedridden older person in her family.

At the time of the trial, Mr. Luo was not able to stand by himself and had to be supported by two guards as he entered the courtroom. He looked emaciated, pale and much older than his age. Tears ran down the face of one of their daughters when she saw her father in such a state. Mr. Luo's mother, who was in her 80s, was also heartbroken.

The prosecutor charged the couple with “Illegal printing and distributing of Falun Gong materials” and recommended 3-7 years of prison. The judge adjourned the four-hour hearing without issuing a verdict.

Ms. Wu remains at the Yichun City Detention Center, while Mr. Luo is at the Gao County Detention Center, where he had his 60th birthday.

This is not the first time that the couple has been targeted for their faith. Both have been arrested multiple times since the persecution began in 1999. After one arrest, the police didn’t notify their family of the arrest right away, leaving the couple’s then-two-year-old daughter home alone for an entire night.

Mr. Luo and Ms. Wu also had to close their family-owned businesses one by one over the years due to their frequent detentions. Their oldest daughter spent so much time seeking their release following her parents' latest arrest that her own business failed.