Practical jokes have been part of mainstream entertainment for years. Candid Camera hit the airwaves in 1948, and was broadcast in one form or another through 2004. Punk'd has been a hit on MTV for years. Scare Tactics and Boiling Points , two of the more vile versions of this type of show, have also had their runs.
Now, christians frequently claim that theirs is a religion of love and peace. Where in the lexicon of "love and peace" does "scare the crap out of a fellow believer by convincing them that their greatest fear has come true" fall? A so-called comedian tricks people into believing that the rapture has occurred, but those people were "left behind", taping their horrified reactions. That's not "love and peace" - that's childishness and downright cruelty! How funny would it be to tell a child that his parents died in a car crash just to watch his reaction, then tell the kid "ahhh, just kidding." That's what these cruel SOBs are doing.
While researching these painful shows, I did notice one interesting (but not surprising) tidbit - Candid Camera was last broadcast on PAX between 2001-2004. PAX TV was launched by a christian who felt there was too much violence and sex on TV. I guess he also felt there was not enough abject cruelty on TV.