Life in the Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Turks practiced Islam. However, the peoples whom they had conquered practiced a wide variety of religious beliefs, including Christianity, Judaism, and the worship of a number of gods and spirits. In order to keep peace, the Ottoman Turks allowed their subjects to worship in whatever manner they choose. However, those who did not practice Islam were required to pay the government an additional tax.
The people were divided into a number of castes, or classes based on their importance within the Empire. The highest class was made up of the Sultan, his family, and other top government officials. Below this class were the nobles who administered much of the day to day business within the government and in local cities and villages. By far the largest class were the peasants who worked on farms, and in businesses owned and operated by the higher classes.